Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Thomas Baker, PhD


children & youth, cultural sensitivity, first-generation, Latinos, Mexican, Mexican American, middle schools, minority & ethnic groups, parents & parenting, second-generation


The middle school level years demand critical attention in educational reform. Culturally diverse students in the United States show levels of academic achievement which are lower then those of other students. Children from oppressed minority groups often show high rates of dropping out as well as poor academic achievement. They are often profiled as students who are unmotivated and who have parents that are unresponsive to their growth and development in terms of educational attainment. However, this conception of poor academic achievement and lack of parental involvement is unfounded since research indicates that culturally diverse parents value education and have high standards for academic excellence in student performance. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that promote Hispanic parent involvement at the middle school level. A triangulation analysis was used as a guiding methodology for the development of a conceptual framework for a Hispanic parent involvement model at the middle school level. The triangulation analysis was accomplished through a methodological mix by using strategies that identified the factors that promoted Latino parent involvement at the middle school level. Three goals were achieved in the triangulation analysis: (1) the current review of the literature was studied in order to analyze successful parent involvement models for Latino parents; (2) interviews were conducted with expert panel members in the content area and analyzed to yield themes that emerged from the study; and (3) Mexican and Mexican American parents participated in focus group interviews. Mexican and Mexican American parents were interviewed concerning their needs in the development of a Hispanic parent involvement. A collaborative Hispanic parent involvement model was developed. The results of the study showed that in order to implement a Hispanic parent model at the middle level, there were critical themes which emerged including parent development, communication development, cognitive development, decision making, and social and cultural processes. These critical components used can be applied to culturally diverse parent typologies. The development of a collaborative model for Latino parents engages students, parents, and staff members to become active constituents and become empowered in a democratic participatory process. Mexican and Mexican American parents become change agents in socio-political and cultural contexts for systemic change in order to improve educational reform. Epstein's typology of "overlapping spheres of influence of family, school, community on children's learning" has major impact in school improvement and in the effectiveness of reaching out to parents in home-school collaboration. The results of the qualitative study indicated that in order to work effectively with culturally diverse parents, educators need to understand and be aware of the socio-political and cultural aspects of culture sensitivity, family values, language, belief system, and traditions. Culturally diverse parents are unique constituents that are powerful stakeholders in their children's education. The basic implications for this study are that the collaborative model may be used as a practical application model at the K-12 grade level, to understand adolescent development, to improve and increase parent participation, and to empower parents to be partners in education. This Hispanic model can be used as a formative evaluation to improve the instructional services to all constituents since the model will have a profound impact on parental participation and a direct influence on student achievement.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access